New collaborative research project with Niall Docherty, focused on using technical models of “troubleshooting” as a mode of critically engaging with digital culture.
Read about the workshop below, or click here to book a place.
As demonstrated by the works in the NEW WORLD ORDER exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery, blockchain technologies and cultures display a remarkable capacity to embody the interests of diametrically opposed political ideologies. Manpowertop looks more widely at the subject of Silicon Valley companies and how their promotional media envisions "the future" of their technology's role in society.
The recent publication of Mark Zuckerberg’s open letter, titled Building Global Community, has drawn debates about the accelerationist politics of Silicon Valley into the public sphere once again. The seductive message of the manifesto itself is unsurprising, and is typical of the glossy promotional media released by other tech companies: We are told that new technologies can facilitate greater social inclusion, foster democratic grassroots political movements, and allow us to be more productive in our labour and leisure. While such media are often renderings of some notional “future” existence, what might they reveal about the ways we delimit our understanding of the present? Additionally, what would have to happen between “now” and “then” for these visions to be fully realised?
Manpowertop is a workshop that takes these questions as a starting point, challenging participants to diagnose the power relations in these branded visions of the future. Participants will adopt “troubleshooting” as a critical framework for enquiry, and produce diagrammatic readings of these speculative technologies, the networks they interlink with, and their associated politics of usership. In doing so, we will collectively identify what is left out of these visions, and explore how these omissions might offer an insight into the power relations that exist between users and technological platforms in the present.